Louvre Reopens With Free Entry

Lineup for Louvre entry
The line moves quickly inside the museum as entry charges are waived.

Baggage Handlers Still On Strike

by Ric Erickson

SPECIAL:- Paris:- Wednesday, 28. May 1997:- After a five-day strike of museum guards, and the regular weekly closing yesterday, the Louvre was open for business today.

The museum, which is visited by 5.5 million annually, is estimated to have lost 100,000 entries over the five-day closure. Baggage handlers were still on strike today, but this means only that large items can not be checked while making museum visits.

The good news, is that there is no entry charge today and this may again be the case tomorrow.

However, a guard told me that the issue of the strike had not been Baggage strike notice resolved, and further action was possible. Nighttime guards had their contract 28 days-off reduced to 26, and they were striking for the reinstatement of the two days. This goal has not been achieved.

Sign at left of entry says large baggage can not be checked.

When I arrived at 14:10 this afternoon, there was no line-up to get in. Within ten minutes, a small line had formed. The guard said that lines in the morning had been quite long - and I think I was witnessing the return of visitors after lunch.

The weather this afternoon was absolutely perfect - for not going inside the museum - and as I left the Cour Napoléon, it was filling up with people enjoying being in the bright and warm air.

In what seems to be an effort to regain favor, the Louvre unveiled one of its prize Greek statues - for tonight's TV-news. The large statue, weighing over a ton, was shown in its atelier of restoration, but the news report did not say if the statue was on public view. No mention of the end of the strike was heard during the news report.

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